Is cutting wet wood bad for chainsaw?


Chainsaws can be a handy piece of equipment that can aid you in garden maintenance. From pruning of trees to sawing large wooden planks, chainsaws have their utility. However, with great utility comes the need for better care and maintenance. Hence, being a homesteader, various questions pop in your mind as to whether a certain thing would have some effect on the chainsaw’s performance. In this blog post, we shall discuss if it’s right to cut wet wood with your chainsaw and its effects.

Is cutting wet wood bad for your chainsaw?

No, it is not bad to cut the wet wood with your chainsaw. Dewdrops, raindrops, or the snow on the wood will not cause any harm to your chainsaw. It is, in fact, much easier to cut through the wet wood than dry wood because the extra moisture on the wood will act as a natural lubricant.

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A short answer is always convenient for those who are short of time, but naturally, it will not explain the whole matter completely. Scroll on to read out the informative, detailed answer to this question.

Dry wood lacks the necessary moisture so it creates much more friction on the chain of your saw when it cuts through the fibers of the wood. The strong friction will slow down the speed of the chain. In contrast, wet wood has enough moisture which will act as a perfect lubricant.

However, when your wood is wet, the sawdust may stick to your chain instead of being blown away by its air filter and exhaust. To maintain the speed of your chainsaw, you will have to remove this occasionally. The tree’s age and density will determine the effort and the labor needed to cut through their wood.

A balsa wood tree, for example, will demand too little effort to cut through its wood than an ironwood tree. The more moisture found on the wood, the less effort required to cut through it because the wet wood does not place any additional resistance on your chainsaw. If you want to cut a very dense wet wood, you must use a micro chisel chain.

● Handling wet wood

To simplify your task, it is wise to handle the wet wood as if it is dry. If the tree was in the prime of its age and its wood is fresh and green, it will be laborious to cut through it, and it will require a lot of effort to cut it when it becomes dry. Ensure your saw’s chain is well lubricated using mineral chain oils while cutting through the wet wood because it will prevent any friction and corrosions.

Lubricants are always helpful in resisting rust with time. If yours is an electric chainsaw, you must make sure that the cable is not soaked in standing water. Never use an extension cord to operate your electric chainsaw if you are working in long and wet grass.

A battery-operated chainsaw is always safer to use in excessive moisture. A diesel, gasoline, or petrol-powered chainsaw is always safe to use in all kinds of weather to cut both wet and dry wood. If you try to cut wet wood in the sodden ground, it can be slippery to a very dangerous extent.

Many sawers are reported to have lost their balance and gone head over heels with the chainsaw still in motion. To ensure your safety, you must have proper PPE, including a sturdy, ground-gripping pair of boots,  eyewear,  anti-cut long pants, a water-resistant helmet,  and a pair of rubber gloves. It is recommended that elderly and weak people not try to cut through a young tree because older and diseased wood will be easier to work with.

● Will wet wood dull the chain?

A common misconception among the DIYers is that cutting through the wet wood will dull the chain of the saw, but the reality is that it will not dull the chain any faster than the dry wood. When you lubricate your chain with the mineral oil, it will prevent it from overheating, so it will glide effortlessly with minimum friction, thus preventing it from becoming dull. Moreover, shaping, pruning, slicing, and limb removal of a wet wood will not affect the performance of your chainsaw.

Always check the size and density of the wet wood that you are planning to cut through. If you want to prune the wet branches of the trees in your backyard occasionally, then a small and lightweight chainsaw will be more than helpful. A battery-powered cordless chainsaw is safer and as powerful as a petrol-powered chainsaw, and above all, it is eco-friendly because it does not dissipate the poisonous fumes and a lot of noise.

Beginners must use these cordless and weightless chainsaws to avoid vibrations and jerks. The most important aspect of chainsawing a wet wood is that it must be wiped dry before restarting it. You must never allow the water to enter the fuel tank of your chainsaw because the mixture of oil and water will lead to malfunctioning.

● Cutting Frozen wood

Frozen wood is always hard to cut through, and it needs much more effort and time than a non-frozen one. You must decrease the angle of your chain by 5 degrees while cutting through frozen wood. In this way, the efficiency of your chainsaw will improve, you will not see any wear and tear on your guide bar, and your task will finish quickly.

You must make sure that the anti-vibration system of your chainsaw is completely insulated from the entrance of moisture. If you allow the moisture to enter the anti-vibration system of your chainsaw, it will stop functioning properly, and the vibration will make you very tired. Too much vibration is also responsible for life-threatening accidents.

● How to clean your wet Chainsaw

Water leakage is not only responsible for user fatigue, but it will also lead to the malfunctioning of the control units of your chainsaw. Keep a piece of dry cloth in your pocket to wipe and dry the brakes of the chain again and again. The brakes are the most important safety feature of your chainsaw, so be extra careful about its cleanliness.

When you keep the brakes dry the moisture will not cling to the links of your chain. Dryness is also necessary for the brakes and the chain to keep them from falling prey to rust. A wet chain and brakes will increase the chances of dangerous slippage.

You must always keep the sprocket cover of your chainsaw dry and clean. If you allow the water and the snow to get into the sprocket cover, then the oil and the sawdust will start freezing, which will eventually lead to the malfunctioning of your chainsaw. Seal the fuel tank properly and tightly; never allow the water to get into it at any cost.

You must also wipe off and dry the clutch bearings of your chainsaw regularly. Also, make sure that the air filter is dry and clean; otherwise, your chainsaw will overheat. Whether you have a pleated filter or a plated filter, you must make sure that it is fully dry; otherwise, the dust will expand inside it when the damp air gets into it, eventually choking your chainsaw.

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You must also wipe away the excessive moisture of the snow, raindrops, or dewdrops from the throttle trigger and the interlock of the throttle trigger of your chainsaw for its best performance. Make sure that your heavyweight, water retardant clothing does not get sucked up against the air intake unit of your chainsaw. If the cooling air intake unit of your chainsaw is blocked with ice, sawdust, or grease, and the air cannot flow inside it, then it will lead to engine failure beyond repair.

You must also keep all the risk-reducing features of your chainsaw dry and clean. Never allow the snow to build up, on or around the handles of your chain saw; otherwise, your hands will keep slipping off it. Before starting your task, remove all the heavy load snow from the lower hanging branches and the trunk of the tree that you are planning to work on because the falling snow will distract your attention and cause you to lose your balance while you are chainsawing it. 

● Preparing your chainsaw for the winter season

The most important thing to do while preparing to chainsaw for the winter season is to switch your chainsaw’s summer/winter shutter to WINTER. In this way, you will activate the carburetor preheater system. Make sure that you turn it off as soon as the temperature begins to rise; otherwise, your carburetor will start icing, which will gradually lead to engine failure beyond repair.

You must be extra careful about the slippage between the blades and the driving links of your chainsaw, as it will lead to very poor performance.

Final Remarks

To conclude this blog post, we would say that before going towards the forest to cut down the wet wood, you must check the weather forecast and delay your plan in case of hazardous weather. You must always carry some extra fuel with you to avoid any inconvenience. Also, make sure the battery of your mobile phone is fully charged to access emergency rescue in case of an accident.

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